Baby Diamond–Weeks 24 through 29 & A Giveaway

 

bump pic

Happy Thursday! Today I have a bump update and giveaway for you guys. As you can tell from the picture below, now that I have entered the third trimester, I am definitely starting to look and feel very pregnant. There is no denying that I am expecting! In fact, each morning this week passengers on the subway have kindly offered their seats which has been such a sweet and appreciated gesture.

This past month of pregnancy was a whirlwind including some travel, some pain and a wonderful weekend with some of my closest friends and family celebrating Baby Girl Diamond. I want to do a separate post highlighting the wonderful shower as it was such a special day. So, for now, let’s focus on some of the feelings, cravings and thoughts around the past few weeks of pregnancy.  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post, especially if you live near NYC!

Baby Size: Over the past few weeks Baby Girl Diamond has grown and progressed from an eggplant, to a papaya and now a butternut squash.  At 29 weeks she is approxiamately 2.5 pounds and 15 inches in length! She’s doubled in size since week 24 which explains why my bump is growing so rapidly. The above picture was taken two weeks ago during a photo session with the lovely Alexis, and I feel as if I’ve already grown a great deal in just these two weeks.

Weight Gained: As of last week’s appointment I had gained 17 pounds. Even though both my doctor and I are comfortable with this healthy amount of weight gain, it is definitely starting to make me feel a bit awkward as I’ve reached the point where I can feel the burden of carrying the extra weight. By the time I go to bed each night, my legs and feet are swollen and my lower back has started to ache a bit. Based on advice from fellow mothers, I’ve started elevating my feet more often, asking Bo for nightly foot massages and taking more baths.

ashley stretch

Workouts: As I shared earlier this month, I’ve decided to take a break from running. Since I stopped running, about 75% of my pubic pain went away overnight which has allowed me to continue working out six days a week. While many people keep telling me to slow down, I feel best when I workout, especially in the mornings. Now more than ever before the workouts give me an extra boost of energy. Over the past month I’ve been able to maintain my habit of two Orangetheory Park Slope workouts, 1-2 Pilates classes at A-Line Pilates, 1 barre class at XTend Barre, 1-2 swimming workouts at our YMCA and 1 long walk each week. Now that I am in the third trimester, I am being very careful to work with instructors before class to get the modifications needed to stay safe and healthy. I can definitely feel the positive effects of these workouts as I’ve been able to increase the weight that I lift at Orangetheory during pregnancy and am finding each of these workouts to become easier with time, even while I am becoming larger and more awkward.

Cravings: While I’m still constantly thirsty and craving fruit,  some of my other cravings have defintely started to resemble those of a sterotypical pregnant woman. Each night I find myself enjoying a small bowl of ice cream or frozen yogurt. I also craved turkey burgers this week as well as gummy or fruit flavored candy.

Food Aversions: Similar to last month, I’m not having strong aversions except to food that typically induces heart burn as I’m still fighting daily heartburn.

Symptoms: As I mentioned earlier in the post, I just feel large. Even though I know I still have another eleven weeks of growth, I’ve started to feel very awkward and pregnant these past few weeks. I’ve had leg and foot cramps a few times the past week and, depending on where she’s positioned, I feel like my stomach is stretched to it’s edge especially after eating or if I have to go the bathroom. It’s a crazy feeling! I am starting to force myself to slow down a bit, making fewer evening commitments and plans as I grow more tired each week.

Sleep: After a few weeks of frustration with the Snoogle, I switched to using multiple pillows to support my body. I sleep with a long, king sized pillow behind my backside, one pillow under my head, wrap my arms around another pillow and put a fourth between my knees. I’m not sure why, but this has allowed me to sleep far better than the Snoogle as of late. Now, getting in and out of all these pillows is quite a different story. It’s hilarious to watch especially in the middle of the night when I wake up to go to the bathroom.

Wearing: As the belly continues to grow, I’ve found it impossible to wear pre-pregnancy size bottoms, even stretchy workout pants. Luckily, I had one pair of large Nike tights and a few pairs of Brooks bottoms which were previoiusly too large. These have become my go-to workout bottoms while I’ve been living in my Seraphine clothing at work. 

Other Random Thoughts: I can’t believe that in just 11 or 12 weeks we will FINALLY get to meet Baby Girl Diamond. It feels like pregnancy has flown by, but at the same time we are so excited to meet her and can’t wait. It’s crazy to type those words as I still feel like we have SO much to do these next few weeks. Bo and I finally got our act together and made a shared list in Wunderlist so we could keep track of the things we have to do. Here are just a few of the things on our list:

  • Interview and decide on a pediatrician
  • Finish the nursery (install new light/fan, touch-up paint, finish book shelves and hanging art)
  • Organize closets and cabinets in kitchen and upstairs to make room for everything
  • Work with our insurance to order the breast pump
  • Wash all her clothing and organize in drawers/closet
  • Take Baby CPR and car seat class
  • Decide if we’re going to do a maternity photo shoot

Giveaway Time

Now, for any of my readers who are based in the New York Area, I have a great giveaway – free family ticket to the New York Baby Show.

ny baby show

The 2017 New York Baby Show, on May 20 & 21 at Pier 94 will once again be the largest show for new and expectant parents in the country. Now in its 7th year, no other event provides a better experience for thousands of expectant and new families from New York and neighboring counties, seeking a family-friendly jamboree of top brands, great speakers and seminars, big giveaways, and lots of learning, support, bonding, and fun as you make your way into parenthood. I am giving away tickets for you and your family to experience the show. Normal ticket price is $30 per family (for 2 adults and up to 4 children), and $20 per individual. Click here to enter!

Images courtesy of www.alexisdamen.com

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Gift Guide for Runners & Brooks Giveaway

Even though I am not running as often as normal right now, due to my pregnancy, I’ve had an entire year to try new running products. Even though I have the opportunity to try many new products each year through this blog, I find that many of my favorite items have been favorites for years. In fact, when looking at my past Running Gift Guides (2012, 2013, 2014), I realized that I still use many of these items on a weekly basis!

running-gift-guide

<GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED NOW>

Now, as a special holiday gift for readers, my friends at Brooks  are giving one lucky reader a stocking stuffer gift pack including three of their Winter running essentials:

Brooks Stocking Stuffer Giveaway

  • Joyride Headband
  • Drift Running Gloves
  • Dash Arm Warmers

To enter, leave a comment letting me know your favorite Christmas movie! I will choose a winner on Monday at 10pm so that the winner can hopefully receive their gift before the holidays. < GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED>

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Finding Your Perfect Sports Bra and a Giveaway

ashley-in-sports-bra

Happy Thursday guys! As some of you may have seen earlier this week on either my Instagram Stories or the Brooks Running Instagram, I had the opportunity to spend time shopping for sports bras with Brooks and Jack Rabbit. If you are a long-time reader, you may remember that I am small chested (36A).  For years, I didn’t think much about sports bras because I didn’t think that someone who was small chested needed support.  I did not enjoy wearing sports bras as I felt they made my small chest even smaller and flatter. Maybe that’s because for the first four years I worked out, from the age of 22-26, I wore a very basic sports bra that was $14.99 at Target.  It provided no support or padding, instead it was more like an ace bandage wrapped around my chest. No wonder I hated putting that thing on.
brooks

Luckily since my favorite brand, Brooks, makes wonderful sports bras, they offered to provide me with a bra fitting session in partnership with Jack Rabbit.  During my session with Leslie at Jack Rabbit, I learned so many tips that I asked my friends at Brooks if I could share the images and tips with you guys to ensure you pick the right sports bra for you, regardless your chest size.

moving-comfort-brooks

  • Women of all size can benefit from a quality, well-fitted sports bra – not just those with larger chests.
  • Women with small chests need to have a bra with support to avoid sagging and permanent damage to breast tissue later in life.
  • Get measured every year because even small changes can make big differences, especially for people with smaller chests.
  • The fit of the bottom band is the most important part of the bra as this is what provides most of the support. You want it to be tight enough to provide support but tight enough so that your girls won’t come out if you raise your arms.
  • Breast tissue moves in a figure eight pattern when you run, walk or jump. Wearing a sports bra with cups, known formally as an encapsulation bra, will support you better and help you avoid that unfortunate uniboob feeling.
  • If the bra is folding, wrinkling or has too much space in the cup that means you need to go down a cup size.
  • Your sports bra size may be different from the bra size you wear each day. Try on lots of different sizes and styles, often in one size smaller and larger than your daily bra, before choosing a sports bra.
  • A bra with adjustable straps can help ensure a perfect fit and that the bra can provide enough support regardless the exercise.
  • In the Fall of 2015, Brooks began re-branding their Moving Comfort division to Brooks. Therefore, if you have a favorite Moving Comfort bra that you’re looking for, it can be found on the Brooks site and may now have a Brooks logo on it!

brooks-sports-bra-with-adjustable-straps

During my session, I fell in love with three bras.

Fiona Sports Bra 

I have never worn a sports bra with a hook and eye closure but man did I fall in love with the level of flexibility and comfort this provided. In addition, this bra comes with molded cups so I felt supported and shapely versus flat as a pancake. The adjustable straps, which I am modeling in the above picture, also allow me to adjust the bra depending on the activity. For high intensity or running I would tighten it to limit the movement but for yoga or pilates, I can wear it a bit looser. If you are nursing, the adjustable straps can also make this a great bra option for easy access. The molded cups on this bra made me actually feel as if I had shape versus being flat as a pancake. I loved this bra so much that I bought two of them, one in black and one in blue!

brooks-fiona

Frontrunner Racer Bra

How fun and unique is the design of this bra with the plunging v-neck and seamless style? This lightweight, breathable bra is a great option as it provides support and contoured cups without sacrificing style. Even though I tried this bra on again at Jack Rabbit, I have owned this bra for three months and have worn it to many a workouts and run. It is comfortable and a great, chafe-free option!

brooks-front-runner-racer-bra

Uprise Crossback Sports Bra

This bra is the only one that I tried on which was designed specifically for A/B cups. Even though it has S/M/L sizing it still has contoured cups which provide support as well as a nice, curvy shape while the cross back allows for ventilation during your workout.  As you can see from the picture at the top of this post, I love this bra so much that I wore it throughout our Canada hiking trip, even stripping down to just the bra on an especially hot day.  The only thing that could make this bra even better would be adjustable straps.

brooks-uprise-bra

GIVEAWAY CLOSED – Winner @momsgottarun entry #47

 

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